Just the facts, ma’am, but I’d prefer the food

Remember the show “Dragnet”? Wikipedia does:

“Dragnet is an American radio, television and motion-picture series enacting the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective Sgt. Joe Friday and his partners.”

It debuted in 1951, ran for eight years, then came back in 1967 for a few more. It was a crime drama, but in 1987, Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks made a hilarious movie based on the same characters.

What stands out most about “Dragnet” was the disclaimer narrated at its start: “Ladies and gentlemen: The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

Today’s offering is just like that. Except, unlike “Dragnet,” which was revealed to be completely fictional, this story is absolutely true.

Also, the name change is to protect both the innocent AND not-so-innocent, you dig? As Joe Friday would say, these are the facts:

It was last Friday, late afternoon in a little suburb just outside the city.

My kid was home from college for a random visit, see.

In an effort to be a thoughtful parent, I ordered him dinner from his favorite grubbery, um, let’s call it, um, Cayenne Ole.

Not wanting to fight the rush-hour traffic sure to snarl the state route straddling my office and the eatery, I decided to try Door, er, Food Fast, a delivery service new to our region. I paid the $4 and was promised my piping hot entree by 1700 hours.

Following is a chronological order of events, as they occurred:

• 5:10 p.m. Nothing. Nada. “No biggie. Maybe they’re busy,” I thought.

• 5:20 p.m. Still nothing. “Well, it IS Friday,” I reasoned and called the “Faster” meaning the girl who had been assigned to my case, er, delivery. I found that ironic, since Jasmine seemed to have been moving pretty slowly. Hmm.

• 5:30 p.m. It was not the food (which was still nowhere to be found) but ME that was getting a little hot and spicy. I called Cayenne Ole and they couldn’t have been any warmer or fuzzier, though it was their unfortunate duty to inform me that I’d likely already eaten — the cost of the Food Fast charge, that is. Hmpf.

• 5:35 p.m. I moved past the mild sauce and straight into the fiery habanero, capisce? Soon, I was in rush hour traffic making a left on U.S. Route 224, Food Fasting it myself.

• I reached the entryway of Cayenne Ole. A woman nearly knocked me back into the parking lot to beat me through the door. She raced to the counter and yelled “Patty!” A little slow on the uptake, I said, “Hey, I’m Patty, too!”

It dawned on me that Jasmine was a late bloomer.

• 5:50 p.m. The sweet young man who remade my cold order tried to give me it. Jasmine snapped, “No! That’s mine for a delivery!”

“I’m RIGHT HERE,” I said as she spat “I was coming!”

“It’s 5:50 p.m. …” I said as she screamed, “Look! I had to drive all the way down this long road from the OTHER Cayenne Ole to this one, OK?”

I learned she COULD move fast as she and my four bucks planted in her pocket disappeared.

As I saw the poor wide-eyed kid left literally holding the bag, I had no choice. I called Joe Friday.

OK, fine, I burst into hysterical laughter.

And had another laughing fit when, upon delivering the goods, my son said, “Geez, Mom, what took so long?”

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who loves her kid, and Chipotle but not you-know-who. Check out her saucy blog www.patriciakimerer.com.


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